Minivans Are In Vogue Again, Their Prices Are Up

2022 Toyota Sienna Woodland Special Edition image

Minivans or multipurpose vehicles (MPV) have been gaining popularity in America. The Toyota Sienna is a bestseller.

Experts state the fact the demand for minivans has returned, and their prices have increased. In the first quarter of this year, we’ve observed the largest percentage gain in the average price of new minivans over the past five years – 43%, compared to other vehicle categories.

Some minivans have risen in price more, some less. The largest price hike – by 64% to over $25,000 – was for the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan vehicles in Q1 2022 compared to the same period of last year.

Why does it happen? There was a time when minivans were losing popularity, but since last year a trend of increased demand has appeared.

For a certain part of family buyers, modern minivans can be an alternative to sport utility vehicles. They are functional, spacious, comfortable, and great for road trips with pets and children, for various outdoor activities. Moreover, some purchasers reckon that SUVs are too expensive for them.

Nevertheless, SUVs/crossovers still remain the most popular choices in 2022: 66% of shoppers considered an SUV, 35 % – a pickup, and only 5% – a minivan (was 4% previously).

New arrivals, such as the latest Toyota Sienna or the Kia Carnival MPV, have revitalized the minivan category. Toyota even calls the new hybrid-only Sienna a trendsetting vehicle. Indeed, it offers a number of goodies, including a roof rack, a hitch to tow up to 3500 lbs, a 1500W inverter, and power sliding doors.

Last year, this model was the U.S. bestselling minivan, its sales doubled over 2020 (107,990 units). Waitlists for the new Sienna at some dealers are long enough, and some order holders will have to wait for their vehicle more than they expected.

About 25,000 Kia Carnivals were sold in a shortened production cycle in 2021 vs 13,190 Sedonas in 2020. We recall that the Kia Sedona is the predecessor of the Carnival. The Honda Odyssey could boast 76,125 sales in 2021, the Chrysler Pacifica –74,970 sales.

We must admit, sales of new minivans dropped again in the 1st quarter of 2022 compared to Q1 2021, but this applies not only to minivans but other vehicle categories too.

Source: the Wall Street Journal

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